One of the most magnificent sea mammals in the universe remains the orca or killer whale. These spectacular black and white creatures are highly intelligent and even playful, but when it comes to hunting for food in a group or pod, the orca is a beast as it attacks its favorite snack of seals or sea lions. It’s all about nature and survival in the animal world.
In our story here, a young female orca was swimming with its group along the beautiful waters of the British Columbia coast hunting for prey. The pod came upon a number of seals, and the lunchtime attack was on, however, the orca suddenly found herself beached upon the jagged rocks and barnacles and trapped. It had become a dire situation where every moment would matter.
An orca’s anatomical features do not allow it to be without water for very long. A whale needs a marine environment to support its heavy body’s massive weight and for cooling it down. The sun’s strong rays can burn the whale and render it immobile. Huge whales like an orca need help more urgently than smaller whales when faced with a similar situation.
That is where a man comes into the picture. Without the quick thinking of human beings, this stunning sea mammal would have little chance to survive.
Like dolphins, whales communicate with a very intelligent and complex system of biological sonar. These massive creatures can vocalize to their whale community, so the pod knows where their members are.
The stranded young orca was desperate for help, and she was crying out for hours, but there was little the pod could do while underwater.
Luckily, a passing sailboat’s crew discovered the young orca trapped between the rocks and crying, and they radioed in for help. George Fisher, a Hartley Bay resident, heard the call going through, and he and several other volunteers headed to the scene with ropes and buckets to see how they could help. A whale researcher joined the crew and provided wet blankets and seawater applied to the ailing orca to protect her from the scorching sun.
For eight long hours, the volunteers soaked the poor, blanketed orca with sea water, encouraging her that she would be alright. It was an emotional experience to be a part of, and there wasn’t much the group could do until the water’s tide rose again.
When high tide came rolling in to reach and envelop her, the young orca found her footing, so to speak, and her massive body was freed. She swam away with ease, vocalizing in her special language as she sped away. Her pod was waiting around in the distance.
Researchers believe the young female orca should be fine, and the volunteers were just happy they could give this beautiful sea creature a second chance at life.